TWELVE TAPES, Gallery II, Bradford, 23.03.2012.

March 16th, 2012 |  Published in Blog


This will be the first performance of a work-in-progress version of Twelve Tapes – a composition for twelve cassette tapes, each containing performances in B, recorded in enclosed, multi-storey and underground car parks, played in any number or combination with any number of musicians performing live with any instrumentation. The gallery’s website incorrectly credits this composition to Seth Cooke; it was actually composed by contributors to the Bang the Bore Forum and its assembly is ongoing (click here to find out how you can contribute).

It will be a twelve hour immersive performance using multiple sound sources, starting at 8am and finishing at 8pm – just early enough for you to catch the Mick Flower Band and Inca Eyeball at the Tasmin Little Music Centre round the corner.

Here are the programme notes for the event:

Twelve Tapes
Composed and Assembled by the Bang the Bore Collective

Twelve Tapes was inspired by a fortuitous charity shop discovery – an empty black plastic tape case with room for twelve cassettes.

If you were to fill that space, what would you fill it with?

I asked that question of the contributors to the Bang the Bore Forum. We put forward our ideas, disagreed, debated and decided together. This is the result:

Twelve C60 cassette tapes, each containing performances based around the note B, recorded live in enclosed, multi-storey and underground car parks. In performance, any number of these tapes may be played in any combination alongside any number of musicians playing any instrumentation.

The tapes were created by a process of open submission. This is ongoing – the performance at Gallery II will only feature twelve of a possible twenty-four thirty minute recordings.

Why car parks? In truth, we just like them. At a superficial level, they’re the null space in every city: one single dreary non-place manifesting itself in multiple locations, like an airport or a public toilet. You pass through them, you use them, and you tend not to linger in them. But at a deeper level no two are alike. Each contains a multitude of sonic environments; each changes in character utterly depending on the time you visit. And maybe we were reminded of Wayne Coyne’s car park experiments with multiple in-car tape decks in the lead up to the Flaming Lips album, Zaireeka, and thought it was a good idea that could be pushed a little further.

Why B? It could have been any note. Cassette players all play at slightly different speeds; this composition aims to explore the notions of pitch standardization and imperfect reproduction implicit in the medium, inspired, in part, by the composition experiments of John Wynne. Moreover, tuning together across time and space appealed to our sense of whimsy.

Through Twelve Tapes we’re exploring the blurring of temporal and spatial boundaries between superficially similar locations; asking questions about our intrusion into our environment in the act of field recording; commenting on the consensus of standardisation and reproduction that supports much of our musicotheological infrastructure; posing problems for the performer by allowing them the freedom to use the materials as they see fit; and imagining other possible ways of collaborating and composing in a group or collective.

We’re enjoying the process of composing and assembling Twelve Tapes. We hope you enjoy listening to it and making your own contribution.

Seth Cooke

Want to discuss this article? Click here to visit our Forum

March 16th, 2012 | by | Published in Blog